High School Football

Improvement letting Eagles take flight

Chapin's Logan Bailey looks to pass against Newberry during a game in 2014. Bailey is evolving into more of a dual-threat quarterback as he has improved his passing.
Chapin's Logan Bailey looks to pass against Newberry during a game in 2014. Bailey is evolving into more of a dual-threat quarterback as he has improved his passing. online@thestate.com

Chapin’s Logan Bailey admits he was a work in progress as a quarterback last season. The senior was a running back before making the transition to quarterback on the B Team as a freshman and then on junior varsity as a sophomore.

He still had a tendency to run first and pass second last season. But after a summer of working in various camps and with a host of talented receivers on the Eagles, Bailey has made bigger strides on and off the field as a passer.

“Early on, there were a lot of people saying they didn’t think I could pass and all I could do is run,” Bailey said. “I took different things from each camp I attended. I went to The Citadel, Wingate and a few others to find out what I needed to work on and what my strengths and weaknesses are. I think my biggest improvement has been throwing the ball.”

It’s not like he couldn’t throw it before. Bailey was 133-for-236 for 2,018 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last year. He also added 1,008 yards rushing with 25 touchdowns .

The improvement has been apparent this season. In two blowout wins in which Bailey has barely played over four quarters, he has accounted for 10 touchdowns. He has run for seven and thrown for three.

The fact that he’s 34-for-49 for 486 yards is what stands out the most to Chapin coach Justin Gentry.

“His decision making process has improved drastically,” Gentry said. “The way I sum him up is last year he was a great athlete playing quarterback, this year he’s turning into a pretty dang good quarterback playing quarterback. His arm strength and reading has improved. He can put the ball in the right place with accuracy.”

The 6-foot, 200-pound player’s in the film room each Sunday, staying after the team film session to study more with the coaches.

“Last year, a lot of stuff opened up because of his legs,” Gentrysaid. “He would roll out, scramble and guys would break open. This year he’s more of a catch and throw kind of guy. But he can still can keep a play alive with a scramble. He’s learned to keep his eyes up field to find those open receivers.”

Bailey’s one of the strongest players on the team with a 1,000 pound total in the bench, squat and power clean. He doesn’t shy away from contact and that has helped in recruiting, He’s awaiting offers. Presbyterian likes him as a quarterback, while The Citadel has shown the most interest at this point, but the Bulldogs like him as a running back.

Several other schools have inquired about Bailey as a safety. If Bailey had his way, he would stay at quarterback but is willing to make the move to another position.

Regardless of where he ends up, Gentry believes someone is going to get a great football player.

“You will not find a stronger competitor across the state than Logan,” Gentry said. “His mental and physical toughness and flat out will to win is something we can’t coach. He’s got it.”

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